Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Oct Fri 18, 2019 7:10 am


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming ( DONE).
PostPosted: Sep Thu 06, 2018 1:24 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Some of you may frown on doing this to a good solid common zenith console, I have done a hand full of radios that were painted ebony lacquer finish from the factory and I must say they looked great. I did a zenith 10s669 in black lacquer one time and radio people loved it, its not butchering a cabinet when you can do a professional ebony piano mirror finish on a radio cabinet. Kind of like fixing up a antique car with a custom paint job in black, I would not ever paint a radio any other color than black unless it came that way from factory or customer wanted a certain color. I know zenith did some consoles in white also which is ok. Any way I wanted to show you guys some of the steps I'm taking to do this job, it may be helpful for those who need to do a ebony finish on there radios. Any suggestions on the what would look great for the escutcheon and speaker cloth design and color and the control button assembly color. I want this Zenith to really stand out and be a wonderful looking set. For the escutcheon I was thinking maybe having it chrome plated or polish it up (brass) to shine like a saxophone and use instrument clear for protection, now I do have some black and silver zenith grill cloth (old pattern) that I could use I will post pictures of it later to show what it looks like. The finish on this radio will be as smooth as can be as in fine expensive furniture or high end automobile. Stay tuned for up dates.


Attachments:
zenith 12s568 033.jpg
zenith 12s568 033.jpg [ 137.49 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: Plain old radio, common set
zenith 12s568 027.jpg
zenith 12s568 027.jpg [ 173.91 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: Cabinet is stripped and sanded smooth with 320 grit sand paper.
zenith 12s568 035.jpg
zenith 12s568 035.jpg [ 163.26 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: Cabinet with 4 coats of high grade automotive 2K primer.
zenith 12s568 042.jpg
zenith 12s568 042.jpg [ 135.49 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: Primer
zenith 12s568 041.jpg
zenith 12s568 041.jpg [ 126.58 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: Black laquer spray paint was dusted on the primer, this will act as a guide for when you block sand the primer. It will show imperfections such as low spots and pin holes and open pores in the wood.
zenith 12s568 044.jpg
zenith 12s568 044.jpg [ 178.29 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]
File comment: OH NOooo
zenith 12s568 046.jpg
zenith 12s568 046.jpg [ 177.34 KiB | Viewed 1688 times ]


Last edited by fred taylor on Sep Sun 23, 2018 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 09, 2018 10:58 pm 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
I've got the cabinet close to ready for my paint job, as you see in pictures of the black guide coat sprayed on over the primer, this will allow me to find all the low spots on the surface. Once everything is smooth and defect free I will then start the painting process. First will be a sealer coat of dark gray then the black lacquer, three coats of black then will come the clear coats, I will spray on around seven coats of clear. It then will have to sit for about 2 weeks before I wet sand and buff (polish). All of that is the fun part, that's when you see the final results from all the precise quality prepping. If the surface isn't prepped right the paint job will show it.


Attachments:
File comment: As you can see the lows areas that still have black guide coat, the pores of the wood grain , more sanding will get rid of that as long as you have enough primer on there.
zenith12a58 059.jpg
zenith12a58 059.jpg [ 136.33 KiB | Viewed 1632 times ]
File comment: Here,s what I came up with on the escutcheon. I think it will look awesome once installed on the (mirror)high gloss black paint job.
zenith12a58 072.jpg
zenith12a58 072.jpg [ 131.93 KiB | Viewed 1632 times ]
File comment: Wow look at that.
zenith12a58 074.jpg
zenith12a58 074.jpg [ 181.69 KiB | Viewed 1632 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 13, 2018 3:16 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Well I think this cabinet mite be the one of the nicest ebony finishes I have done so far, I only have 2 coats of black lacquer over two coats of sealer and its extremely smooth already, not nearly done. At this stage I will let dry overnight and then check for any imperfection's and they will be addressed. Two more coats of black lacquer will be applied and I will proceed to lay down around 6 or seven more coats of (clear piano lacquer). That will have to dry for 10 days or so and then I will proceed to wet sand and buff to a glass smoothness, the finish will look like something you would see on a Rolls Royce. Stay tuned, this radio will be one of a kind to this point and I'm hoping that any radio collector to wish to own a custom zenith that would fit right in to any high end radio collection. I'm telling you guys if this radio was available in black in 1941 I believe it would have been a hot seller and the finish I'm going to put on this cabinet would win any show. I worked for a High end Body shop here in Dallas for 15 years, I was one of the painters in the shop and have painted cars that cost way more than my house. So I know what I'm doing when its comes to refinishing. Been refinishing cars for over 30 years and furniture and especially radios as a hobby for 15 years, and making extra money. Last picture is not the zenith but a very rare McMurdo silver Master piece that I restored for ( Joe the Zenithman) ) and its came factory in the Ebony piano finish (special order ?) Joe can attest to the high quality of my refinishing skills.


Attachments:
File comment: Cabinet surface ( primer )Ready for 2 urethane sealer coats.
zenith 12a58 199.jpg
zenith 12a58 199.jpg [ 109.82 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
File comment: Sealer starting to flash
zenith 12a58 210.jpg
zenith 12a58 210.jpg [ 92.04 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
File comment: Sealer
zenith 12a58 217.jpg
zenith 12a58 217.jpg [ 96.78 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
zenith 12a58 216.jpg
zenith 12a58 216.jpg [ 83.37 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
File comment: Sealer applied
zenith 12a58 233.jpg
zenith 12a58 233.jpg [ 79.53 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
File comment: Starting first coat of black Lacquer
zenith 12a58 222.jpg
zenith 12a58 222.jpg [ 115.45 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
File comment: Only 2 coats so far, still a ways to go.
zenith 12a58 236.jpg
zenith 12a58 236.jpg [ 104.24 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
zenith 12a58 237.jpg
zenith 12a58 237.jpg [ 126.81 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
zenith 12a58 238.jpg
zenith 12a58 238.jpg [ 147.28 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]
joes radios 028.jpg
joes radios 028.jpg [ 148.3 KiB | Viewed 1574 times ]


Last edited by fred taylor on Sep Thu 13, 2018 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 13, 2018 3:23 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Next picture is after refinishing the very rare McMurdo


Attachments:
File comment: The silver painted pin stripes are correct, they look gold in before picture because of age ( PITINA )
joes radios 644.jpg
joes radios 644.jpg [ 130.33 KiB | Viewed 1573 times ]
joes radios 595.jpg
joes radios 595.jpg [ 147.07 KiB | Viewed 1573 times ]
File comment: Before refinish
joes radios 029.jpg
joes radios 029.jpg [ 153.01 KiB | Viewed 1573 times ]
joes radios 591.jpg
joes radios 591.jpg [ 118.19 KiB | Viewed 1573 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 13, 2018 1:59 pm 
Member

Joined: Jul Wed 11, 2018 7:32 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Tacoma, WA 98407
Excellent work! I used to own a 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme that was done in Sikkens True Black with 6 coats of clear on top. It looked like you could stick your hand right into the paint.

_________________
Charles
USAF Veteran
Tacoma WA, USA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 13, 2018 4:19 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 818
Location: Crossville, TN USA
That Zenith is a rather pedestrian radio for that era. Nothing against it, but it doesn't have the styling of some of the other ones from the earlier years. Its bigger brother (cabinet-wise) is the 12S568Z which is a much more attractive cabinet - IMHO. So what Fred is doing is going to make this radio a stunner! He worked on my Ebony McMurdo Silver in the Norwich cabinet and it is one of the crown jewels now. I can hardly wait to see what Fred comes up with when this is finished. He is enhancing this radio, not repurposing it. Good Show Fred.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sat 15, 2018 2:03 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
That's for all the complements on my work you guys . I did get some more black lacquer on today, I did some light sanding with 320 and fixed a few small areas that needed attention. I sprayed on 3 more coats of black then let that all flash off then sprayed 4 coats of piano clear. I did get a small run in the paint and added a retarder to the clear because of the high humidity we had today. Everything turned out well except for the gravity indicator ( RUN IN CLEAR) I can fix that no problem. I will fix the run Monday and spray 4 more coats of clear and then paint inside cabinet dark zenith blue. Following week I will rub out to high gloss and reassemble radio.


Attachments:
File comment: Re sanded to work out small imperfections
zenith 12a58 242.jpg
zenith 12a58 242.jpg [ 123.07 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 241.jpg
zenith 12a58 241.jpg [ 115.04 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 253.jpg
zenith 12a58 253.jpg [ 129.89 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 257.jpg
zenith 12a58 257.jpg [ 92.26 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 238.jpg
zenith 12a58 238.jpg [ 147.28 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
File comment: small run ( gravity indicator) will fix when dry then recoat.
zenith 12a58 250.jpg
zenith 12a58 250.jpg [ 88.26 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 249.jpg
zenith 12a58 249.jpg [ 130.35 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
zenith 12a58 256.jpg
zenith 12a58 256.jpg [ 135.05 KiB | Viewed 1503 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sat 15, 2018 3:49 am 
Member

Joined: Jun Sat 18, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 152
Location: Washington State
I am watching and reading your restoration trying to learn as much as I can from your technique. I am new to this hobby and have not attempted anything close to what you are doing. Would you mind explaining a couple of things?

You said: I sprayed on 3 more coats of black then let that all flash off then sprayed 4 coats of piano clear. I did get a small run in the paint and added a retarder to the clear because of the high humidity we had today. Everything turned out well except for the gravity indicator ( RUN IN CLEAR).

Not sure what it means to "flash off". What does retarder do? We always have high humidity here in the pacific nothwest! What is a gravity indicator?

Also on your earliest pictures it looked like the veneer was chipped and split and badly in need of repair. Did you repair the veneer first? Or did you just sand it down to the native wood underneath and then paint over that wood?

Thanks for posting the project it really looks great It will be a beautiful radio when finished. It is inspiring me to do more.

John w.
N7ZMG


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 3:27 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Flash off means letting the clear coat dry to the touch or the base coat , most spray paints needs to flash off before recoating, there was not any veneer damage that area had been scrapped with a scrapper to remove the old clear coat., looks like veneer a patch but was not. Retarder is added to your paint to slow down the drying time, it is used to let the paint flow out better during hot days and lets moisture escape from the paint before paint skins over when its humid outside or raining. Gravity indicator is a term used with painters when there is a run in your paint job, gravity pulling down something. Just a joke.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 5:34 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 17858
Location: Berkeley, CA 94709
How did you go about fixing the run, Fred?

Bob

_________________
"The stupider it looks, the more important it probably is!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 9:12 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3270
Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Is there a lot of paint on the finished cabinet Fred? I have found that too much and it cracks in the warmth of centrally heated homes.

I keep water vessels with my inlaid Japanese lacquer pieces, cant do that with a radio.

Gary


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 1:05 pm 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
sofaslug wrote:
How did you go about fixing the run, Fred?

Bob

I haven't fixed the gravity indicator yet, there are a number of ways to fix. The main thing is to make the surface flat again, you can shave it off using a razor blade and then wet sand with 600 using a small wet sanding block. I will show you in pictures next week when I start on it again. Ok here is a few ways I fix runs in the paint, razor blade you can scrape the run flat then wet sand using a wet sanding stone then come in different grits, this one in picture is a 1000 grit, or sometimes I use a good flat paint stick wrapped with wet sand paper. Work your way up from 800-1500 grit then polish with 3 inch buff pad using a air buffer.


Attachments:
zenith 12 s 568 055.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 055.jpg [ 154.68 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
File comment: Gently cut high area with razor blade after paint has dried, then wet block sand.
zenith 12 s 568 053.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 053.jpg [ 112.92 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
File comment: wet sand with flat paint stick with 800 grit wet
zenith 12 s 568 056.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 056.jpg [ 141.46 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]


Last edited by fred taylor on Sep Tue 18, 2018 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Radio Fixer wrote:
Is there a lot of paint on the finished cabinet Fred? I have found that too much and it cracks in the warmth of centrally heated homes.

I keep water vessels with my inlaid Japanese lacquer pieces, cant do that with a radio.

Gary
Not really when it comes to laquer, if it was enamal or urathane base product then yes you can over do it . There are a lot of reasons why paint will crack weeks, months or years down the road. Laquer base paints are designed for multaple layers but you dont want to over do it. So far i have 3 coats of primer which i sanded most of it back off while prepping, that was just used as filler for the pores in the wood, then i got 2 medium coats of automotive grade sealer, then 3 coats of black lauquer which was thinned out , sprayed on cabinet and resanded smooth to fix any imperfections. Then i re sprayed three more coats of black that was thinned out , thats when i got the run. You just dont pour your paint in the gun and spray, you have to thin it out per instructions on lable. All that thinner will evaporate leaving the color on cabinet. Im getting ahead of myself here, whem im done there will be maybe 6 or 7 coats of clear which really isent a whole lot when it comes to laquer, laquer is very thin. I wish i could answer your ? better. Laquer is brittle and if the wood moves with humity and dry and sun light it may cause some problems.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 5:27 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3270
Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
You did well Fred and thanks for your views on this.

Long ago I asked Mohawk how much lacquer you could put on before instability and they said 4 thou. So with cans, using a piece of acrylic and a micrometer I got 3 thou for 10 wetted out coats. It sort of helped me and as you say a lot is flatted off along the way.

Gary


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 11:13 pm 
Member

Joined: Jun Thu 05, 2008 6:28 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Santa Rosa Ca
Fred
When do you sleep?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming soon.
PostPosted: Sep Tue 18, 2018 1:13 am 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
I sleep on weekends and weekdays , 930 pm when I lay down till 530 am when I wake up. I work on radios most weekends and sometimes during lunch hour at my other job , where I paint cars. I recoated with 3 more coats of clear piano lacquer today, I repaired small run in paint first, also I painted the inside of radio cabinet dark zenith blue.. Next week I will wet sand and buff out cabinet a put all back together. You guys will fall over when you see it finished. I have a special grill cloth that I have been saving and this is one radio that will have it installed. Stay tuned for the unveiling next week.


Attachments:
zenith 12 s 568 059.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 059.jpg [ 135.29 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 063.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 063.jpg [ 120.4 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
File comment: Paint is dry and already you can see some dust from in the shop
zenith 12 s 568 073.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 073.jpg [ 124.51 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 068.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 068.jpg [ 114.09 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 065.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 065.jpg [ 155.76 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
File comment: Little bit of orange peel which is normal, that will disappear when it rubbed out.( wet sand and buffed)
zenith 12 s 568 064.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 064.jpg [ 140.75 KiB | Viewed 1401 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming ( DONE).
PostPosted: Sep Sun 23, 2018 4:58 pm 
Member

Joined: May Fri 10, 2013 4:09 am
Posts: 1773
Location: Dallas Tx
Ok the zenith is finally done, a lot of work has payed off. I could have had the escutcheon chromed plated and still can but decided not at this time, funds were directed to the zenith 12a58 baby stratosphere which is almost finished and the post on that radio was updated also. Now this may be the only 12s568 in ebony color in the world although it was custom done by owner (ME). The smooth black piano finish sure highlights the style of this pre war early 40,s zenith. The sound is very good with plenty of power and solid bass notes. Axillary input plug was made to insert into factory phono jack ,I played some tunes found on you tube music , ran thru my Samsung Galaxy phone. I am pleased with the out come of this zenith and people that saw it at the shop playing were at aww. The cabinet took around 14 man hours to complete, ready for the museum or man cave. Thanks for lookin.


Attachments:
File comment: Wet sanding, 3000 grit
zenith 12 s 568 077.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 077.jpg [ 132.38 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 079.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 079.jpg [ 131.4 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
File comment: Polishing
zenith 12 s 568 093.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 093.jpg [ 145.75 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 154.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 154.jpg [ 193.36 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 170.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 170.jpg [ 201.81 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 155.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 155.jpg [ 139.14 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 193.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 193.jpg [ 76.87 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 181.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 181.jpg [ 176.14 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 176.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 176.jpg [ 187.28 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
zenith 12 s 568 185.jpg
zenith 12 s 568 185.jpg [ 104.38 KiB | Viewed 1293 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming ( DONE).
PostPosted: Sep Mon 24, 2018 9:45 pm 
Member

Joined: Jun Thu 05, 2008 6:28 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Santa Rosa Ca
Nice!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming ( DONE).
PostPosted: Sep Mon 24, 2018 11:49 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 17858
Location: Berkeley, CA 94709
Wow. Spectacular. :shock:

Bob

_________________
"The stupider it looks, the more important it probably is!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Zenith 12s568 custom ebony finish coming ( DONE).
PostPosted: Sep Tue 25, 2018 12:13 am 
Member

Joined: Jun Fri 02, 2017 8:41 pm
Posts: 42
Absolutely stunning Fred. Love the grill cloth.

That would look right at home next to a Steinway concert grand piano.


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 20 posts ]  Moderator: Peter

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: zacrobmer and 1 guest



Search for:
Jump to:  




























Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB